NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 9/6/17

September 6, 2017

Marina FranklinSuperb comic Marina Franklin (Trainwreck, Louie, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show) tries out a solo stand-up show in the West Village she plans to film later this year: Marina Franklin: Single Black Female (8:30 pm, $8 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)…

Jean Grae and Scott Adsit…or if you prefer Brooklyn, come see Jean Grae (famed rapper and comic) interview Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock; voice of robot Baymax in Disney’s Big Hero 6; co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel; HBO’s Veep; half of genius improv duo John & Scott), Travon Free (writer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee; former writer for The Daily Show and HBO’s Any Given Wednesday; Chelsea Lately, Tosh.0; opens for Russell Peters), Joyelle Nicole (Seeso), and more: The Show Show with Jean Grae (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Amanda Giobbi & Kelley Quinn: "Power Hour"…or opt for comedic dance via a kinetic 25-minute sketch show set to Top 40 pop tunes by delightful rising star Amanda Giobbi (skills include “carrying a wide variety of snacks in my purse at any given moment”) and Kelley Quinn (Lloyd Night, webseries Straight Marriage), with direction by Becky Chicoine: Power Hour (9:30 pm, $7, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street; on a double-bill with I’m Your Mommy)

Other notable shows this Wednesday include:

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($7): Improvisors Leah Evans & Matthew Schrader make up a fast-paced duo-dialogue mini-play in the style of an Aaron Sorkin movie or TV series at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Boozeroom

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six hours of free improvisation—including dynamite comics Adrian Sexton and Jay Malsky in The Community Players at 7:00 pm, musical improv from group Vern (which includes superb singer & comic Julie A. Feltman) at 7:30 pm, such stellar improvisors as Pat Swearingen and Langston Belton in Hero Complex at 8:30 pm, and star instructors such as Dana Shulman, Adrian Sexton, Chris Booth, and sometimes even PIT owner Ali Reza Farahnakian at The Faculty at 10:30 pm, all at The PIT Mainstage: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Law Abiding Criminals

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

7:30 pm ($8): In this Dungeons & Dragons-themed show, comics Joon Chung, Dario Joseph, Hattie Hayes, Kristen Manna, and Erin Lynn O’Conner roll a 20-sided die that determines what tasks they must perform while also performing comedy at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jacob Galang, Alex Fleming, and Pat Reilly: Dunces N’ Dragons

8:00 pm ($8): Comics Alise Morales, Rachel Wenitsky, and Catherine Cohen get drunk and then compete to present the best scientific dissertation on this month’s subject of Hormones to a genuine scientist—Dr. Sarah Mennenga (doctor of Neuroscience, postdoctoral fellow at NYU Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory)—all at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Joanna Rothkopf, Shannon Odell, and Jordan Mendoza: Drunk Science

9:30 pm ($7): Comics compete in a Survivor-like game that tests them “in acting, writing, improvisation, character work, storytelling, and stand-up. The audience decides who goes to tribal council, but the tribe will actually vote and decide who is out of the competition” at The PIT Underground: Outwit, Outplay, Outlaugh: A Survivor Style Comedy Competition

9:30 pm ($7): Improv group Crisis makes up a comic book story springboarding off an audience suggestion at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Crisis: The Improvised Comic Book

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

11:00 pm ($5): James Dwyer & Jackie Jennings perform some of their 500 summer-based characters at the UCB Chelsea theatre: A Big Dumb Thing

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

If you want stage time, you can find one or more stand-up open mics virtually any night at Manhattan’s The PIT, Eastville Comedy Club, and Stand Up NY Comedy Club, and at Queens LIC’s The Creek and Astoria Queens’ QED.

In addition, at the East Village’s UCB East you can typically find a stand-up open mic Thursdays at 6:00 pm, an improv jam Wednesdays at 11:15 pm, and a rare bring-your-own-group improv/sketch open stage Sundays at 11:00 pm. And in Chelsea, The Magnet offers an improv jam on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, and a rare musical improv jam on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

All of the venues above typically provide you the stage time either for free or for $5.

There are also numerous other open mics throughout the city. For a more comprehensive list, please visit FreeMicsNYC.

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

Upright Citizens Brigade East
153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$12

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10

The PIT Loft
154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

The Magnet
254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10

The Creek and the Cave
Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

Union Hall
702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20

Littlefield
635 Sackett Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20

Bell House
149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-seat theatre; shows free-$10

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.

Village Underground
130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 2-item min.

The Stand
239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!

Carolines Comedy Club
1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.

Gotham Comedy Club
208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.

Eastville Comedy Club
85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.

Comic Strip Live
1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.

Stand Up NY
236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.

The Standing Room
4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive. It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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